New York City's Central Park and surrounding buildings
IM Photo / Shutterstock

The Best Cheap Hotels in New York City for 2023

Updated June 20, 2023

By "cheap," I don't mean some fleabag only a notch above a bench at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I simply mean these hotels are affordable.

And not relatively affordable compared to the $400-and-up per night you can spend even in New York's standard hotels in high season. The hotels below have prices akin to what you'd find in other U.S. cities that get fewer tourists.

These clean, safe, respectable lodgings are all located within an easy subway ride of the attractions you go to New York City to see. You may not spot any design awards on display in the lobby, and you may see some signs of normal wear in your room. But so what? With what you save on accommodations, you'll have more money to spend on Broadway shows, tours, shopping, museums, and meals in one of the greatest cities in the world. 

Cheap NYC hotels: St. James Hotel
Pauline Frommer
Midtown Manhattan

The Hotel St. James is a stalwart of the NYC affordable lodgings scene that spent its pandemic downtime productively, renovating all guest rooms. I'm happy to say a rise in rates didn't accompany the upgrades. Still, you'll sleep on stiff mattresses in rooms decorated with the type of mass-produced furnishings that can be a bit depressing. Fortunately, the front desk staff members are all super-friendly and the location, one block off Times Square, is a good one for avid theatergoers. To read our full review, click here.

Cheap NYC hotels: Carlton Arms Hotel
Pauline Frommer

The Carlton Arms Hotel may be the scruffiest place on this list. But because the owners bring in artists to create unique environments in each room (see above and below for examples), most guests don't care that the furnishings are old and the beds can be saggy. Prices are very appealing here, even during seasons when the city is extremely busy. To read our full review, click here.

Carlton Arms Hotel New York City

Cheap NYC hotels: Americana Inn
Pauline Frommer

I rarely see Americans at the Americana Inn (pictured above). That may be because all rooms share bathroom facilities, an inconvenience that's more accepted by Europeans than by Americans. That, and the institutional look of the place, may turn off potential guests, but the Americana has a surprising advantage working in its favor: high-quality mattresses. In fact, I'd say the mattresses here are more comfy than at hotels that charge twice as much. To read our full review, click here.

Cheap NYC Hotels: CasaMia 36
Pauline Frommer
Situated a short stroll from the Javits Center, Casamia 36 is the pick of many conventioneers. Unfortunately, that means the location is a bit grim. The hotel's immediate vicinity, while safe, is close to the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel, so traffic is heavy, and nearby bars and restaurants are few and far between. Service at the hotel is distracted at best, but rooms are clean and dignified, and the prices are consistently the most affordable in Manhattan. To read our full review, click here
Cheap NYC hotels: Artezen Hotel in the Financial District
Pauline Frommer
Downtown Manhattan

Artezen Hotel
The decor at this usually affordable option in the Financial District recalls the late 1980s, when shiny surfaces were all the rage. In addition to having a wonderfully friendly staff and comfortable beds, the Artezen has a location that's not only convenient to worthy downtown sights (including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Wall Street, the South Street Seaport, and the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island), but also all of the subway lines that will take you to the rest of the city. To read our full review, click here.



Cheap Hotels NYC: Allen Hotel
Pauline Frommer
The Allen Hotel is right on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Perhaps reflecting the tastes of the property's Chinese ownership and predominantly Asian staff members, the hotel's decor looks like it belongs to a modest hotel in Shanghai. The ultra-firm mattresses often found in Asia are also in evidence at the Allen—and, fair warning, may provide a harder sleep surface than you prefer. That said, the oversized rooms are a plus, and some units even have balconies (a rarity in NYC). The onsite gym is large and surprisingly well-equipped. The location is a lot of fun, too. To read our full review, click here.
Cheap NYC Hotels: The Lodge at Red Hook and New York City Vista
Pauline Frommer
Brooklyn and Queens
A number of the chain motels in the city's outer boroughs offer good value. But I like two indies best.

The Lodge Red Hook is primarily chosen by folks about to embark on cruise vacations, thanks to the inn's proximity to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Rooms are always affordable, but prices can rise a little right before and after sailings. Though the lobby is dull and the surrounding area is mostly warehouses, rooms at the hotel are quite nice, with kicky art on the walls, very good mattresses, and a contemporary streamlined look. The biggest downside to staying here is the lack of a nearby subway stop—you'll have to walk about 20 minutes to get to the train, and part of that journey may be along the highway. To read our full review, click here.

In Long Island City, a part of Queens that's just one or two subway stops from Manhattan, the New York City Vista (formerly known as the Nesva) is far enough from the elevated subway tracks to be nice and quiet, but close enough to make getting to the train an easy stroll. The staff is friendly and rooms are clean, though some show wear and tear (a chipped dresser here, a scuff mark on the wall there). Still, prices are always about $20 lower than at neighboring properties. To read our full review, click here.

New York's hotel rates are seasonally driven, so if you want a swankier hotel than the ones listed here, plan your visit for when it's cold. Prices plunge with the temperatures in January, February, and early March. Don't worry: There's plenty to do indoors.

For more money-saving travel tips, check out our list of 35 ways to see New York City on a budget